Let's Get Physical

When I posted the YouTube video of Miss Kitty a few days ago, it got me thinking about exercise and overall fitness in general. I've been feeling rather frustrated lately. This is due to the fact that I haven't been able to exercise. I mean really exercise, full out, for over three years.

Whenever I share this frustration with my friends, some of them look at me blankly. And others roll their eyes, "Uh, Holly, I'm perfectly happy not exercising. And to have a built-in excuse? Just lovely, thank you very much." But I've exercised in some form or another for as long as I can remember. And beyond the accepted physical benefits, I find that mentally/emotionally, I actually need it.

I've gone through loads of exercise "phases" over the years. As a kid, I studied dance, fencing and judo. During the college years, I tried jogging, jumping rope and weight training. I've taken Jazzercise, kickboxing and step aerobics classes. Worked my way through exercise videos ranging from the ridiculous 20 Minute Workout of the 80's…

to Billy Blanks Tae Bo videos of the 90's.

We even have a home gym complete with weight machine, free weights, elliptical, treadmill, and stationary bike. Yup, as far as exercising options, I'm good to go. Or rather, I was. I'm pretty sure I jinxed myself by thinking something I shouldn't have.

One morning while working out, I clearly remember thinking that if anything ever happened to me physically, I'd always find some way to work out. Yeah, well, little did I know I would soon be eating my words.

It all started over three years ago, when I noticed a pain in my foot. Didn't think anything of it. It grew worse, making it feel as if I was stepping on a boulder when I stood up first thing in the morning. Turned out I had something called plantar fasciitis. I'd never heard of it, but basically it's when the tissue supporting the arch of your foot is being ripped away. I went through two podiatrists, plus about a million dollars in arch supports and different "supportive" shoes. Worst of all, I couldn't do my beloved aerobics, or running anymore.

I resigned myself to the stationary bike. It was boring, but at least I could get my heart rate up. And, I sighed, at least I could still do my weight work.

Uh, yeah. Eating my words again.

Before my foot had healed, I was shoveling landscaping rocks in our backyard one lovely spring day, and I felt a twinge in my shoulder. Ignored it. (Yeah, I know. You'd think I would have learned! But no, I kept going.) And the next thing I knew, I couldn't lift my arm over my head. Turned out I had biceps tendonitis. I went through months and months of physical therapy. And I could no longer do my usual upper body weight routine.

"Well, fine!" I thought. "At least I can still use the stationary bike."

Uh-huh. You guessed it. Eating my words again.

Several months after the shoveling incident, doing nothing more special than sitting at my son's basketball game, I stood up and felt a stabbing pain shoot through my kneecap. I limped around for a week until hubs insisted I see his orthopedic. Turns out I have stupid plica syndrome and stupid chondromalacia patella! More physical therapy. And now I can't even ride the bloomin' stationary bike!

Final diagnosis: no stationary bike, no elliptical, no treadmill. (No aerobics at all really.) And no lower body weight work. Grrr! When I whined to my mom about all this, she said something like, "Well, you are getting to that age… and let her sentence trail off meaningfully.

What the heck? No way!

Forty-seven is NOT old! It's NOT, it's NOT, it's NOT! (See, there's proof! I can throw a 3-year-old tantrum with the best of 'em.) Plus, I'm forcing myself to look at the bright side. At least my bicep muscle doesn't hurt as much anymore. So I've been able to start my upper body weight workout again.

Uh…can you forget I just said that? I have a feeling I shouldn't have said that out loud.

Treadmill image by Sasha W


Susan R. Mills said...

That's tough. I've had some back issues that have kept me from working out temporarily, but nothing permanent. I haven't worked out much in the last three years either, but it's because I'm just too damn lazy.

Brandy@YDK said...

I'm sorry that you have physical ailments that keep you from doing something you love. I'm not so physical

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

I'm sorry, Holly! That is soooooo frustrating. I used to be the work out queen before I had kids and it has been so hard since my second was born. I know how irritating it can be to want to work out and not be able to. I hope that things turn around and you can get back to all the exercises you like! And BTW your moms is cuckoo for coco puffs. You are not that old. Not at all.


Laurel Garver said...

Hi Holly. I just found you through Susan's blog and thought, "Hooray! Someone else in her fabulous 40s who writes!"

Sorry to hear about the injuries. Aging has a way of keeping us humble whether we like it or not.

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Yeah! It's always great to connect with another mom writer! Susan's blog rocks, doesn't it?!

MrsBlogAlot said...

I feel for you girl and shhhh....please stop saying those things out loud. It could get all jinxy.

I have always had to work out in some way over the years. I still do those old Tae Bo VHS workouts from time to time. I know how it feels to "need it"

Go easy and keep finding new ways (just don't say them (-:)

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Ha, ha! Okey dokey, Melyssa. Mum's the word!

Kristi Maloney said...

First of all, you look great for 47! I am not far behind at 41. I am sorry to read about your injuries and I can relate to your thoughts about needing to exercise for the mental/mood lifting benefits. I am so glad that you stopped by, because like Laurel, I am someone in my "fab. forties" who writes. Lets start a club! Stop by again soon! http://www.kritimaloneyblog.blogspot.com.

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Thanks so much, Kristi! You're right, we should start a club.

Annette Piper said...

Oh dear. I think you're right, best not to think about it all - just do it when you can. Whenever I start up weights or interval training again I last about 10 days before something goes wrong enough to stop me, so my exercising habit has suffered alot the last couple of years ... and as your mother said I'm getting to THAT sort age... *sigh*

Ivy said...

Wow, Holly. What an ordeal! You are true inspiration to never give up! And no, 47 is NOT old! It's not even close!

Vivianne's Vista said...

Uh Oh! The 40's aren't looking so fabulous anymore to me, I thought perimenopause was bad enough!

I'm so sorry you have gone through all of that, hopefully you will find something else soon. Yoga perhaps? Also, sign me up for the Forty and Fabulous club, sounds like I would be in great company.

Vivianne's Vista said...

I forgot- THANK YOU for adding me to your blogroll! (I blush humbly)